Accountant networking is a tried, tested, and true method to build connections, grow your business, and advance your career.

In this article, you’ll find out why accountant networking is so important, where you can network plus 9 of the best tips to succeed.

Let’s go!

Table of Contents

What is Networking in Accounting?

Professional networking in accounting is all about how you build relationships with others.

Whether it be at a local networking event, professional conferences, or via social networking sites, our objective is to establish and foster relationships with others to help you advance your career or find new opportunities for your firm.

Why is Networking Important for Accountants?

Speaker speaking

Here are a few reasons why you might want to get more serious about networking:

  1. Grows your referral network: One of the top ways accountants find clients is through referrals. By networking with others, you can grow your referral network.
  2. Find new clients: By heading to different networking events, you have the opportunity to meet new businesses and find new clients.
  3. Learn new things: When you network, you can keep up to date with the latest news, trends, and innovations in the industry.
  4. Strengthens existing relationships: You will no doubt run into the same circle of people at networking events. This helps strengthen your already existing relationships.
  5. Build new alliances: With networking, you will encounter potential partners that you may be able to form strategic alliances with to further both of your objectives.
  6. Builds your word-of-mouth marketing strategy: No doubt putting yourself out there more will help get the word out about what you do and what you can offer.

How To Network As An Accounting Professional? [9 Tips]

Here are some of the best networking tips available for when you:

1) Practice Your Elevator Pitch

If you’re going to head over to networking events, you should have a 60-second pitch about who you are, who you help, and what you do. Please remember that professional dress inspires trust.

It sounds easy, but believe me, it does take a bit of practice 🙂

2) Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

Make sure to update your social profiles before you go out to any networking event. You’ll likely be getting new connections and you want to make a good impression.

At the very least, you’ll need a professional headshot, a nice background banner, and a short sentence about what you do:

3) Don’t Make It All About Yourself

Your goal when it comes to networking is to establish and strengthen relationships. And that can only happen when you focus on how you can help the person you’re speaking with and show interest in what they do.

Practice good listening skills and also take the initiative.

4) Follow Up

After you’ve established a connection, follow up with them the next day to see how you can continue the relationship.

Here’s a simple email template you can swipe:

Sample email to client

5) Feel Free to Excuse Yourself

Sometimes, you become stuck in a discussion with someone that is not going anywhere. To save time, feel free to excuse yourself from the discussion so you can speak with other professionals.

6) Understand Your Goals

Before you start networking, you should be clear about what your actual goals are. Is it to pick up new clients? Learn something specific? Figure out what that is and then stay laser-focused on that objective as you network. 

7) Be a Valuable Resource

The best networkers are the ones who think about their connections constantly and seek ways to help them.

When you notice an opportunity to provide value or introduce your contact to someone who might benefit from what they offer, seize the moment and make the introduction.

8) Join Online Discussions

Today, a lot of networking occurs online, besides attending conferences and events. You can build your connections by participating in online discussions.

Hint: Use hashtags to help your posts and discussions reach more people like the one I used here:

9) Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

The key to networking is not making as many connections as possible; rather, it’s about identifying the right people to connect with.

When you seek out connections, focus on people with whom you can build relationships that are mutually beneficial and help you both achieve your goals.

Where Should Accounting Professionals Network?

Here are some of my favorite places where accountants can network:

Professional Accountant Associations

Professional organizations like Accounting Association of International Accountants (AICPA), American Payroll Association, or CPA Canada host events every month.

Attending networking events organized by Financial Executives International, National Association, Financial Women’s Alliance, or other professional organizations can provide networking opportunities for you.

You can definitely put something on your calendar so you can meet other accounting experts in person and be able to talk about your firm.

Local Industry Events

You can also participate in a local networking event hosted by your local community. This will give you the opportunity to interact with other local accounting professionals and other attendees in the business industry.

Here’s an example of a simple search for an e-commerce event:

Accounting Conferences

There are plenty of accounting conferences you can head to to learn new skills and meet new people.

For instance, QuickBooks Connect is an annual accounting conference held in San Jose, California. Your firm can benefit significantly from utilizing events like this to network, establish professional connections, and form relationships with other businesses and accountants.

Here I am at Xerocon, giving tips on how to start building a personal brand online.

Many accountants and firm owners attend conferences to gain valuable insights, networking advice, and interesting information.

Industry Conferences

If your accounting firm focuses on a specific niche, then you might want to sniff out industry-specific conferences to help you prospect for new clients.

For example, if you target marketing agencies you can go to HubSpot’s Inbound Conference:

Inbound

Social Media Networking

Online networking is a great way to meet people. Joining forums and talking to other accountants on social media platforms can be a huge benefit for you. This is also your chance to help you broaden your knowledge and build your professional network.

As an example, using the #TaxTwitter hashtag on Twitter can be beneficial to connect with others in the accounting profession:

Tax Twitter Forum

Traditional Networking Groups

Professionals can benefit from online networking, but it cannot replace traditional networking. Face-to-face interactions can increase your self-confidence, allowing you to offer your accounting services to other business owners or accounting professionals. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Some of the more popular traditional networking groups include BNI, amongst others.

Reaching Out to Your Existing Network

Rather than having no connections at all, it’s better to have a few solid ones. You can reach out to your old classmates or colleagues and begin discussing your career or your firm. It can be a great way to start building relationships and offer your services.

Aiming to Connect?

These days, it’s challenging to arrange a face-to-face interaction, therefore I’ve also listed places to network online.

I hope you found these 9 practical tips for networking in accounting helpful for your firm and practice.

Do you have any other tips for effective networking?

Let me know in the comments below!


Ryan Lazanis

Hi! I'm Ryan. I’m an entrepreneurial CPA that founded Xen Accounting, a 100% cloud-based accounting firm, in 2013. Following its acquisition in 2018, I started Future Firm to help accountants fast-track the growth of a modern, scalable accounting firm of their own.

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